Cults first emerged on the scene back in 2011 with their self-titled EP. It was just three songs, posted quietly on Bandcamp, but the EP quickly took the indie-pop scene by storm. I can’t remember where I first heard of them myself, but this was back when I was first really getting into the alternative/indie scene and developing my own music tastes.
Their full-length debut (also self-titled) also won accolades and garnered “Best New Music” on Pitchfork. Although the album is just half an hour long, Cults establishes the band’s sound. It’s a breath of fresh air: the synths used throughout the album literally feel shimmery and new. Though there are more than a few nods to the ’60s woven in, especially with the beat of “Never Saw the Point,” the band manages to remix them. “Go Outside” is incredibly unique; it starts with a recording of Jim Jones, then seamlessly fades into a drumbeat that’s just this side of twee. “Never Heal Myself” ends with an amazing kiss-off.
I have my favorites: “Go Outside,” of course, is the song that started it all, but “Oh My God” gets a lot of replay too. Yet the entire album is cohesive. It starts with the slow, methodical “Abducted” and ends with the reverberating “Rave On.” The progression feels like a natural build.
Maybe it’s fitting that I’m revisiting the album now because the sound also reminds me of summer. That’s when the album was initially released, and its overall brightness (despite the often heavy lyrics) make me want to, well, go outside.
Enjoy the escape: